Virginia Lottery gives go ahead on second casino licence

Virginia Lottery gives go ahead on second casino licence
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Rivers Casino Portsmouth is set to become the second official casino facility in Virginia after receiving licensing approval from the Virginia Lottery, according to Virginia Business.

Per the local outlet, there are plans to open the $340m casino in early 2023 at the intersection of Victory and Cavalier boulevards, off Interstate 264.

The casino will have 1,448 slots, 57 table games, 24 poker tables, five restaurants/bars and banquet and event space.

“The lottery’s gaming compliance department and legal counsel assisted in today’s [November 16] decision by conducting investigations and background checks on the applicants,” said Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kelly Gee.

“The lottery works with all casino applicants, their vendors and employees to make sure all aspects of the operation are in strict compliance with Virginia law.”

The state’s first casino licence was issued to Bristol’s Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in April, with the Virginia Lottery praised for its ‘ongoing collaboration’ in the process.

A new, temporary casino was subsequently opened in July, boasting 30,000 square feet of casino space.

In September, it was revealed that the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino had contributed over $2.5m in taxes to the state of Virginia in August alone.

Roy Corby, Rivers Casino Portsmouth General Manager, said: “Our Rivers Casino Portsmouth team is grateful to the Virginia Lottery Board for their thoughtful and thorough consideration.

“We look forward to sharing the timing and details of our early 2023 grand opening with the Hampton Roads community very soon.”

Rush Street Gaming, the casino’s owner, plans to hire 1,300 permanent employees.

So far, it has made 800 offers of employment, with more expected imminently.

Ferhan Hamid, Virginia Lottery Chairman, added: “The gaming landscape in Virginia continues to evolve and the Lottery Board is committed to ensuring that casinos in the commonwealth are operated responsibly, fairly and with the utmost integrity.

“While not all Virginians will choose to visit these facilities, all of our citizens need to be confident that they are regulated with the very highest standards.”

Hamid further added that there could be another casino that becomes operational before the end of 2023; there are already two proposed casinos in the pipeline in Danville and Norfolk.